Elections will take place in July 2024, but Mexicans are already witnessing a struggle for the official candidacy, with Sheinbaum, who aims to become Mexico’s first president, looking set to advance with the popular leftist president’s blessing.
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The verdict will come out of a survey of More’s party in 2023, which is the broad favorite to rule for another six years and which celebrates its annual congress this weekend.
Anyone can WhatsApp the 62-year-old Ebrard as he spreads his number on Twitter to answer questions and watch TikTok videos in which he willingly stars in memes or declares himself a fan of K-pop youth phenomenon BTS.
You can also find Sheinbaum, 60, on TikTok playing a yo-yo and admitting to being the talker of the class, far from her usual cautious demeanor.
A survey by the firm Ancol released in late August showed the mayor comfortably leading the polls over Abrard, though Polygramma suggested a technical tie in early September.
Although the president assures that he will support whoever wins, he repeatedly expresses his sympathy for Sheinbaum, whom he describes as “indestructible” and “with faith”.
“He almost had a target on his back,” says journalist and academic Carlos Bravo Regidore.
Abrard, the former mayor of the Mexican capital, “knows how to govern, he is efficient”, but “he does not have the confidence of López Obrador”, outlines analyst Pablo Majluf. Instead, Sheinbaum is “unconditional of them,” he adds.
She denies that AMLO (as the president is known by his nom de guerre) is tipping the scales. “There is an even floor,” he maintains.
With very weak opposition, the great beneficiary of this initial campaign is the president – whose approval is on average 61% -, as he marks the sole leader with his candidates, both analysts estimate.
The power play
Competition is not limited to social networks. Scheinbaum, a physicist with Lithuanian and Bulgarian grandparents, promotes every function and event he attends and travels to other states invited by pro-government governors.
“She feels very motivated to continue the 4T (Fourth Transformation) and become the first female president in Mexico’s history,” a source close to her told AFP, referring to the government project.
According to Encol, 82% of those surveyed would vote for a woman for president, a surprising fact in a country whose customs are often associated with machismo.
An internationalist of French descent, Abrard added public visits to the interior of the country to his diplomatic agenda. In the video he shares in real time, he is seen doing a typical dance in Bolivia, from cutting a maguey in a tequila town.
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López Obrador defeated him in an internal consultation for the 2018 presidential election.
Bravo Regidore says it was AMLO himself who “gave the initial signal” for the controversy, for whom the move also served to distract from the weaknesses of Mexico’s first left-wing government.
López Obrador has said he will retire from politics when he assumes the presidency.
But analysts advise that by opening its cards so early, it actually wants to extend its shadow till 2024 to ensure the continuity of its project. There are no re-elections in Mexico.
“On the one hand, they (applicants) refine each other, they fight for your approval; On the other hand, you are a stickler for balance. In the end, you retain power,” says Majluf.
AMLO “will be better able to use the power” that his popularity and charisma give him “if he is succeeded by a weak president who needs support, who does not have his own or sufficient base to dispute a decision,” Bravo Regidore Believe. .
Separation and wear
This scenario is favored by the fragility of the opposition. In the intention to vote, Morena is more than 10 points ahead of the bloc of parties that oppose it, according to Ancol.
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Furthermore, the decisions of the former hegemonic Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) in Congress in favor of the government began to crack the alliance designed to confront the Left.
But a long campaign could also play against AMLO, as it would tire the electorate too much and depend on the popularity to support him, experts say, besides encouraging sections.